Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist

Guidelines for Application-Specific Print Dialog Box Functions

The standard print dialog application-specific area is the bottom half of the dialog box illustrated in Figure 7-6.

Depending upon the application or function, developers may choose to add more fields to the common Print dialog. The controls in the dialog are laid out horizontally; if more fields are needed, it is suggested that you add another separator line, then place the additional controls below it, as illustrated. If any additional push buttons are needed, they should go between the Print and Cancel buttons.

Optional Fields

Some possible optional fields include:

Print Page Numbers

This checkbox applies only when ASCII files are being printed. If the objects selected for printing are non-ASCII, this control should be dimmed. When turned on, output pages will be numbered.

Print Command Options

A text field where the user may type an lp command or script name to override the instructions in the other fields. If you want to provide print methods besides lp, rename this field (Print Method, Use Print Command, and so on).


This might be an option menu containing values for High, Medium, and Low, or might be a spin box containing numbers.


An option menu containing the values Portrait and Landscape (see Figure 7-6).


An option menu or a spin box containing numeric values, in dpi (see Figure 7-6).


An option menu containing the values Single and Double (see Figure 7-6).

Paper Size

An option menu containing the values Letter, Legal, and so on. (Figure 7-6).

Paper Source

An option menu containing the values Upper Tray, Lower Tray, and so on. (see Figure 7-6).

If the dialog box is to be used for an application, consider:

Page Range

Two text fields, from x to y (see Figure 7-7).


A spin box containing values for percentages (see Figure 7-7).

Print Preview

A button that brings up a WYSIWYG representation of the output.